### No-Nonsense Algebra

How is it that I am old enough to have a child that is ready for algebra? My, how time flies. And my math skills are not that great, so when this product came up for review with The Crew, I jumped right on board.

What It Is:

This algebra text book from Math Essentials is truly no-nonsense. The book is in a very easy-to-read and simple format with clear and concise examples and instruction.

It is divided into 10 chapters:

Chapter 1: Necessary Tools for Algebra
Chapter 2: Solving Equations
Chapter 3: Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
Chapter 4: Solving and Graphing Inequalities
Chapter 5: Systems if Linear Equations and Inequalities
Chapter 6: Polynomials
Chapter 7: Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
Chapter 8: Radicall Expressions and Geometry
Chapter 10: Algebra Word Problems

Within each chapter are lessons; they range from 22 lessons in the first chapter to only 4 in the fourth, with a total of 96 lessons in the textbook. Each lesson begins with an introduction. This explains the new math concept. Then there are examples with all the solving steps shown; most lesson have 4 examples. The main part of the lesson are the exercises; these 14-20 questions are all based on the new math topic. The final part of each lesson is 2-4 review problems from previous lessons. At the end of each chapter is a chapter review and at the end of the book is a final review. There is a glossary at the end of the book, and then pages of important formulas, symbols, a multiplication table, square and square roots, and fraction/decimal equivalents.

What You Get:

The 275-page book is non-consumable and has a soft cover. It is listed on their website for \$27.95. But what makes this algebra program such a wonderful deal, is that your book comes with free access to online video lessons.( The code to access the website comes in your book, and the really great thing is that the code never expires.) Every single lesson has its own video of Rick W. Fisher teaching the concept. These videos are very simple and not distracting; the student hears the instructor's voice and then sees a white screen and watches as he teaches the math concepts and shows examples. Each of these videos range from approximately 4 to 10 minutes in length. At the end of the book is the answer key.

How We Used This:

I decided to have my daughter do the first few lessons. She really enjoyed the simple approach and felt that the videos helped her to see how the problem should be solved. Right from the start, Mr. Fisher makes it clear that he wants the students to write down on paper everything that he writes on his whiteboard. Even in the textbook he gives the simple yet very effective tip of writing all the examples out completely, even if you feel you already know the concept. My daughter does grasp math pretty well, and during one of the lessons felt that there were too many examples to do, but practice makes perfect and I had her do them all. At the end of the section of lessons she did, she felt she had learned much more about algebra; the really cool thing is that she only spent about 20 minutes a day doing the program.

I was also given a book from their Mastering Essential Math Series. I chose Problem Solving; other titles in the series are Decimals and Percentages, Fractions, Geometry, and Whole numbers and Integers.  This 78-page booklet is only \$11.95, and has sections on graph problems, whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages. On each page there are review exercises, helpful hints, and math problems. This book is meant to be done in 20 minutes a day and would be a perfect curriculum to do during those summer months when you still need a little math on the brain.

What I Thought:

Honestly, I started out thinking this was just another math program. But the videos caught my attention. I do have one of my students that is a visual learner and this just might be the key to success in math for that child. It's is so interesting evaluating how children learn; my daughter who did the few lessons felt that the video was not as helpful to her as reading the text, but my son got very excited when I told him he could do the video algebra for math next year. I loved the simple approach and felt that the pace of the book was appropriate. I especially appreciated the helpful hints throughout the book. Some were tips on how to help correct mistakes, reminders to write out each example and watch the video, and to also use the resources in the back of the book. This math curriculum actually got me excited about doing math (which is pretty hard to do)!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, for my honest and humble review. All opinions are mine.

1. Here I am, finding a moment to comment. I LOVE when you do school book reviews. I keep thinking it would be helpful for me to call you someday soon and pick your brain about stuff I should order.
Do you use Explode The Code books? Trying to remember who I heard about those from.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to blog this stuff.

2. I am so glad you read my reviews! Sometimes I am not sure if people are interested. :-) And call me anytime!

I do use Explode the Code with my youngest. But I usually don't just use those books alone...I will use them in conjunction with another phonics program and treat ETC as a supplement. I do really like them!

And I know what you mean about taking time to comment....you have VERY good reasons for being absent from the internet. :-)

3. Hi Charlotte! Thank you for the info on the math book... I am freaked out about how to help Alicia learn math since I always did so poorly in it... I am glad there are so many options out there.

4. Rebecca, I feel the same! Math is my weakness and I am so thankful for all the options out there. And let me know if you ever have specific questions about certain curriculums. Have a blessed week!

5. Thanks! I'll keep that in mind as I prep for the school year. My good friend Katie uses those the same way you do and I noticed her 6 year old son has really good handwriting - she said the ETC books are fun and so your child doesn't realize they're having to write a lot :)